CW Hanes’ Grandfather’s Journal: In Search Of (Yorkshire Publishing) has been a riveting read since its release late last-year. It was also one of the first books ever to have included its own song (“You Reached The Unreachable”) – an original no less. There have also been nibbles from Hollywood for a film version.
Hanes is at work on the follow-up, which is the first of a planned series.
We chatted by phone with the author:
Q: How would you describe Grandfather’s Journal: In Search Of?
A: “Full of adventure in this world; the spirit world and core family values.”
Q: You’ve got such great characters -Jacob, Arthur, Catharine and Michael- did you base them on people you’ve known?
A: “Some of these characters I thought would carry a good storyline.”
Q: This is also the first book I’ve come across with its own song; tell us how you came to write that as well?
A: “I’ve been divorced twice, and I wasn’t looking for another relationship, but then I was introduced to my beautiful wife, and I wrote this song for her! Until she came along my heart was unreachable!”
Q: Your rep told us that when you began this book, you began writing the chapters on post-it sticky notes. Tell us how that happened?
A: “I work in engineering and I was sitting at work taking a break and I thought of this story I was told when I was young. I always thought it would make a good book someday. I wrote ideas on post it notes for the next 15 years. The first post-it note idea was written in 1987. In 2003 computers got strong enough that I started typing in what I had written down. I wrote seven chapters then began to work too much and it took 16 years for my wife and sister to convince me to finish the book.”
Q: The detail to American Indian culture is terrific as well; tell us how your knowledge of that came to be?
A: “My great, great, great grandmother was removed from her home by Andrew Jackson’s army in 1838 and put on the Trail of Tears when she was nine years old. A lot of my knowledge came from being handed down from my mom and dad and then lots of books I studied and read. I taught myself some of the Cherokee language which I am still in progress of doing. I have books that I bought from the Cherokee, North Carolina Indian reservation.”
(The Trail of Tears was part of a series of forced relocations of approximately 100,000 Native Americans between 1830 and 1850 by the United States government known as the Indian removal.)
Q: The mystery and intrigue builds, and is definitely a page-turner; will there be a sequel?
A: “Yes, there will be three more books. The first one is tentatively called The Revelation.”
Q: The book begins with a story … is that how you began the book?
A: “Yes, I took the three men in my story and created characters and built on that; also, some of my book came from my belief in the Bible. That is the way I was raised as a Christian.”
(photo courtesy dis COMPANY)